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Lifestyle

How to Balance Your Budget, Holistically

Say again? Yes, you’re reading this juxtaposition correctly. While it may seem like these two are polar opposites; from the greens, grounding and grass-fed to the fast-paced, big business and portfolio carrying bear-bull world, they are both important to your health. Here’s a holistic approach to balancing your budget.

Small Fish in a Big Sea

Over the weekend, I immersed myself into 3 full days of Investment education. When I say full, I mean 14-hour days, no sleep and non-stop working environment (stereotypical of how I would imagine the investment business setting to be). I had relatively zero knowledge of the stock market and really, no drive to want to get involved in it. I rarely watch the news because I found it to be largely doom and gloom, or overblown drama. I felt that my investments were better handled by a professional and that I could scratch that off my own ‘watch list’ and focus on improving the health and wellness of others. But I never stopped to think about how ignoring my own financial future would impact my health.

Balancing Life

I make a lot of recommendations for quality food choices and healthier lifestyle practices that give you a better bang for your buck … wow, I’m really starting to intermingle that stock talk! Holistic health is about balancing your stress, eating, exercise habits, spiritual awareness, community involvement and …financial freedom.

Taking the Big Dive-In

While it may seem scary, intimidating and overwhelming starting to take charge of your finances, think about where you were when you tried a new recipe, stepped into a gym or meditated for the first time. You probably didn’t know what you were doing, if you were doing it right or what you were getting yourself into. But, you kept doing it, learned a bit more, experimented, asked questions and kept moving forward. Think back to how you were six months ago, is the person you knew back then anything like you are now? You’ve accomplished so much in such a short period of time and have not stopped to give yourself the credit you’ve earned. What would your six months ago self-say to the person you are now?

This is precisely the same mentality that we need to start taking with our finances and seeing where we are putting our money into. Now you may be thinking, money doesn’t buy happiness, or I don’t need a lot of money, or simply, I have no money! What you need to understand is that money can create opportunity. It’s not happiness you’re trying to buy; that comes from within, and it’s not a four-car garage that you should be trying to show off; you can’t take that with you when you die. It’s the freedom, safety, and security of knowing that your financial future is taken care of and you can focus your attention on other areas of life.

Where are you spending your money?

We vote with our own money, yes, we’ve heard that before; everything we buy is an investment in the growth of that company. Your $35 essential oil infused bracelet helps support the growth of your local jeweler, your $10 Bone Broth will help support the local producer and your mutual fund may be supporting the tobacco industry. Wait, what? Now, I am not saying that you need to get rid of your mutual fund, nor am I any shadow of a person with financial education background other than a few courses at University, but I was shocked at this realization. Here I thought that my RRSP was an investment in my future, but I didn’t realize that I may have been contributing to the future of businesses that completely contradict my personal health values. Know where your money is going!

Now I will be the first one to say that money does not buy happiness, I grew up in an Oil and Gas household, or “chicken and feathers” as I’d like to say. I could live off very little and still be happy, but let’s be honest, not having to worry about how to divide your next paycheck or where you’re going to live when you retire lets you breathe easier and worry less about the future.

Sitting down and doing a budget is not exactly the ideal way to spend a Saturday night, but it can be a real eye-opener as to where you’re spending your money and whose businesses you’re supporting. I would encourage everyone to grab a small divider envelope and save every single receipt you have over the next month. Make time to write everything down on paper or an excel sheet (excel is what I use as it’s easy to categorize how you want and tally up your total).

What businesses are you supporting and where could you cut back on?

If you have investments, what are they and are your values aligned with the companies you’re promoting? If you don’t have investments, start. Start investing in your own future and educate yourself as to the power of every dollar you spend.

When I’m making choices about what to eat, I choose higher quality ingredients and nutrient-packed meals that will sustain my energy, keep my mind sharp, brain clear and gut happy. I’m investing in my daily health, creating a happier, healthier future and benefiting from energy profits. If I were to down a fast food burger and fries, I’d probably need a nap, maybe have some gut rot and be sluggish for the rest of the day, suffering from energy losses. There are more things I can accomplish during the day when I have the energy, motivation, clarity and focus from a good quality healthy meal than missing out on so many opportunities because I chose to devoid myself healthy investments.

Try this thought pattern out the next time you open your wallet. Is what I’m buying going to benefit me? Is this a good investment, am I going to benefit from this in the long run? Warren Buffett, the 3rd richest man in the world says, if he wasn’t willing to own a company for 10 years, he’s not going to own it for 10 minutes. Translating into your daily expenditures, ask yourself, how am I going to feel about my decision in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years?

 

Whats Keeping You From a More Fulfilling Life?

You’d be surprised by how looking at your finances holistically can benefit your health. Holistic by definition is; all the parts working together for benefit of the whole and as the adage goes, ‘you’re only as strong as your weakest link.’ Are your finances keeping you from living a more fulfilling and healthy life?

Get real about where you are, financially and open up about what your future looks like and take control of where you’re putting your money. Invest in yourself and the companies you want to support and see grow bigger and better. Regularly check your statements and keep up to date with what’s happening in the world, because it will affect your portfolio and future. It’s like wearing your yoga pants for days on end and not paying attention to your diet. When you finally put those not so forgiving jeans on a week later, you realize that you’ve done more harm than you thought.

Do you have a holistic approach to balancing your budget? I’d love to hear your comments below.

Related Article: 10 Ways to Detox (without changing your diet)

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